Veterans in Long Beach can now access a “one-stop shop” for services, as the VA Long Beach Healthcare System on Tuesday celebrated the grand opening of its Veteran Resource Center in the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center.

Following a roughly eight-month renovation process, the resource center will now offer numerous services, including a patient advocate office, beneficiary travel services, social work services, veterans benefit administration, connection to veteran service organizations, assistance with release of information and medical records, a virtual health resource center and whole health services.

“The one-stop shop, I mean, they’ve just nailed it,”  veteran Steven Grove told the Business Journal.

While he said he has received “really good care” at the Long Beach center, “before, you had to run all over the place, and you never knew for sure where anyone was going to be,” Grove said.

Veteran Teddy Corral has received services at the Long Beach center for about 15 years, and considers the Long Beach facility to be one of the best in Southern California, he said.

“I’ve taken so many veterans, maybe 600 veterans to all the facilities, and this one, they address exactly what their needs are,” Corral told the Business Journal.

“I have all my doctors here, and all my appointments are here,” Corral added. “And I make it a high point of telling the veterans to come here.”

A veteran looks at the event program during the grand opening of a new resource center at the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center on March 7, 2023. Photo by Tess Kazenoff.

The VA Long Beach Healthcare System will be one of the few VAs with an on-site resource center.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for about five or six years, and we finally have the space to do this,” said chief experience officer Dustin Thompson during the event.

In addition to the medical center, the health care system includes community-based outpatient clinics in Anaheim, Laguna Hills, Santa Ana, Santa Fe Springs and Villages at Cabrillo in Long Beach.

“We do things that other health care systems simply don’t do, because our veterans come first,” Thompson added. “It’s why we exist. It’s why we’re here.”

Apart from the range of services offered, the resource center is conveniently located near a parking lot, a cafeteria and retail store, noted VA Long Beach Healthcare System director Walt Dannenberg during the event.

Along with the new resource center, construction for a brand new community living center with 120 beds is also in progress, according to Dannenberg.

“That’s going to be absolutely fantastic, continuing to bring state-of-the-art facilities to our veterans who deserve absolutely nothing but the best health care in the country,” he said.

Construction is also underway for two new mental health facilities, including one outpatient and one inpatient building, which will potentially begin accepting patients around the beginning of “this next calendar year,” Dannenberg said.

“The VA Long Beach Healthcare System is on a special journey, and that journey is to become the No. 1 health care system in the country,” Dannenberg said.

The Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center is located at 5901 E. Seventh St. The Veteran Resource Center is located in building 165.